Friday, May 9, 2014 Richmond City Stadium
Richmond Kickers 4 (Davis 50’, Delicâte 62’, Francois 84’, Own Goal 88’)
Arizona United SC 0
RICHMOND, VA – The Richmond Kickers defeated Arizona United SC 4-0 Friday night at City Stadium. Reduced to 10 men inside the first 30 minutes, Arizona held the Kickers scoreless through the first half before conceding a pair of goals on either side of a 30-minute lightning delay. Midfielder George Davis IV and Matthew Delicâte opened scoring before the hour mark with Christiano Francois and an own goal rounding out the scoreline just before the final whistle.
The drama of the evening began immediately upon kickoff when an unmarked Shay Spitz collected the ball on the right wing and carried it to the six yard box. He sliced a low cross past the unsuspecting United goalkeeper, Evan Newton, and narrowly missed connecting with an onrushing Matthew Delicâte as the ball whistled just wide.
Following a crafty sequence that saw Arizona defender Daniel Antunez back heel a ball to forward Brandon Swartzendruber, whose subsequent header soared just over the crossbar, United’s fortunes turned when they were reduced to 10 men. Midfielder Bradlee Baladez was ejected when he headbutted Spitz after a scuffle over a restart in the 25th minute.
Fueled by the dramatic exchange, Spitz nearly broke the ice two minutes later when he collected a cross at the top of the box and one-timed a determined strike over the crossbar. The feisty midfielder forced Newton into action again just before the break, this time latching on to a through ball and firing a rocket on target but the Arizona goalkeeper made the point blank save.
Despite the disadvantage, United pressed for the icebreaker in first half stoppage when Swartzendruber got on the end of a leading ball before playing it wide to Schillo Tshuma but he missed the left post to send the teams into the locker room deadlocked.
The Kickers opened scoring in the 50th minute when Martin and Mike Callahan battled Paolo DelPiccolo to win the ball in the midfield. The 2v1 combination sprung Martin free as he fed the ball through to Davis at the right edge of the box. Newton was able to get a hand on the resulting low driven ball but could not stop the momentum as it slipped behind the far post.
Delicâte doubled the score just past the hour mark when second half substitute Christiano Francois stole the ball in Arizona territory. He played a square ball to defender Taylor Kemp on the left wing who barreled into the box and lofted a cross to the Kickers all-time leading scorer who made no mistake with a diving header from eight yards out to carry a 2-0 lead into the 30 minute lightning delay.
Less than 10 minutes after the hiatus, Francois tallied his first professional goal when he picked up a long ball and raced down the right flank. Leaving Newton with little chance, he buried a determined shot into the back of the net in the 84th minute.
In a last ditch effort to pull a goal back, forward Kadeem Dacres fired a shot from 12 yards out but Kickers goalkeeper Joe Willis denied his attempt and cleared the ball back out to midfield. Rookie defender Hugh Roberts collected the loose ball and eluded defenders as he dribbled through traffic. Searching for an awaiting Jason Yeisley stationed at the back post, he served in a cross that was intercepted by Arizona defender Tyler Ruthven for an own goal to seal a 4-0 victory for the Kickers.
The Richmond Kickers kick off U.S. Open Cup action on the road against RVA FC on Wednesday, May 14 before embarking on a two-game road trip to Oklahoma City Energy on Friday, May 16 and Chicago Fire Reserves on Sunday, May 18. The Kickers return to City Stadium one week later to host the Charlotte Eagles on Saturday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.
Box Score First Half Second Half Final
Richmond 0 4 4
Arizona 0 0 0
50th minute: Richmond: George Davis IV (Collin Martin)
62nd minute: Richmond: Matthew Delicâte (Taylor Kemp)
84th minute: Richmond: Christiano Francois (Alex Lee)
88th minute: Richmond: Own Goal (Tyler Ruthven)
Kickers: GK Joe Willis, Taylor Kemp, Conor Shanosky, William Yomby, Alex Lee, Collin Martin, Michael Callahan (Hugh Roberts – 76’), Luke Vercollone (Jason Yeisley – 45’), George Davis IV (Christiano Francois – 59’), Shay Spitz (Sascha Gorres – 76’), Matthew Delicâte (Tishan Hanley – 70’)
United: GK Evan Newton, Matt Kassel (Tyler Ruthven – 45’), Daniel Antunez, Bryan Gallego, Scott Morrison, Joey Dillon (Charles Renken – 76’), Paolo DelPiccolo, Bradlee Baladez, Jon Okafor (Kadeem Dacres – 67’), Brandon Swartzendruber (London Woodberry – 52’), Schillo Tshuma (Joseph Toby – 74’)
Shots Saves Fouls Corners
United: 4 United: 2 United: 9 United: 4
Kickers: 11 Kickers: 4 Kickers: 13 Kickers: 7
26th minute: Shay Spitz (Richmond)
52nd minute: Joey Dillon (Arizona)
26th minute: Bradlee Baladez (Arizona)
Referee: Mark Gorak
Assistant Referees: Matthew Nelson, Alexander Luttmann
Fourth Official: Spencer Adamson
Weather: Overcast, then thunderstorms, 80º